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Cannone da 47/32 M35

Cannone da 47/32 M35

The little Böhler 47mm anti-tank gun was first produced in 1935 and is thus sometimes known as the Model 35. It was first produced in Austria but its use soon spread outside Austria and licenses to produce the gun were taken up by Italy. In fact the Italian production run reached a point where the Böhler gun became regarded as an indigenous Italian weapon, the Cannone da 47/32 M35.

It was built in two versions, the first with semi pneumatic disk wheels, and the second (in 1939, from which the name 47/32 mod. 39) with improved barrel and suspension (in some series also electron wheels with celerflex semi pneumatics).

To tow this piece, the tractor OCI-780 CM and the light tank L3 were used, but these projects were soon abandoned as the gun was subjected to braking at the axles spindles and shanks.

The Böhler gun was a handy weapon that was soon diverted into other roles. It was widely issued as an infantry gun and, as it could be rapidly broken down into a number of pack loads, it was also employed as a mountain gun. Although it turned out that the gun was something of a multi-purpose weapon, it was not extremely successful in any of these extra roles. It did prove to be a fairly effective anti-tank gun however and was widely used during the early years of the war. Italy was the main user, but other nations also employed the gun including the Netherlands (Kanon van 4.7) and the type turned up in the Soviet Union as the M35B. Germany also received a number of these weapons when they took over Austria and they were called the 47mm PaK.

This weapon was also employed as the “autocannoni” AS37 and AS43, on the tanks of the M series, on the L6/40, on armored diesel-electric trains, and on armed train cars, in fixed positions.

Thanks to its light weight and the capability of being dropped with a parachute, it was widely used by airborne troops, and had extensive use on every front.

The gun could fire both armor piercing and high explosive projectiles, the latter having a range of 7,000 meters to provide the gun with a useful infantry support role. As the armor thickness of tanks increased, the Böhler increasingly assumed this infantry support role.

AMMUNITION

  • 47 mod. 35 powder charge grenade
  • Piercing projectile mod. 35
  • Anti tank projectile “effetto-pronto”
  • Anti tank projectile “effetto-pronto speciale”
  • Piercing tracer projectile mod. 39
  • Piercing tracer projectile mod. 35
  • Blank projectile
  • Exercitation grenade
Specifications
Caliber 47mm (1.85 inches)
Length 1.68m (5ft 6in)
Length of Bore 1.525m (5ft)
Length of Rifling 1.33m (4ft 4.3in)
Travelling Weight 315kg (694.5lbs)
Weight in Action 277kg (610.6lbs)
Elevation -15 degrees to +56 degrees
Traverse 62 degrees
Muzzle Velocity 630m/sec (2,067 ft/sec) for AP; 250m/sec (820ft/sec) HE
Range 7,000m (7,655 feet) – HE
Shell Weight 1.44kg (3.175lbs) AP; 2.37kg (5.225lbs) HE
Armor Penetration 43mm (1.7in) at 500m (550 yards)

Photo courtesy Alberto Rosselli, information courtesy JDG, Federico Bottinelli and Mareschi Cristian.

Sources
The Encyclopedia of Weapons: From World War II to the Present Day

Comments

  1. Cannone da 47/32 M35 was the best light anti-tank gun ever with its small size and powerfut gun by only being a 47mm which I have to say is quit cool. The 47 was also used by parachute units by both italy and germany. Which says a lot.